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Godrej Hicare to set up overseas subsidiaries

Purvita Chatterjee

Mumbai , Jan. 4

GODREJ Hicare is planning to expand its operations to countries in the SAARC region and the United Arab Emirates by floating its own subsidiaries. Extending its services to countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, followed by the UAE, the pest management company will be modifying its prices to suit every market depending on the developmental index of those countries. Mr Vikas Hajela, Chief Operating Officer, Godrej Hicare, told Business Line, "While our head office would continue to be in India, we would be setting up wholly owned subsidiaries in these countries to capture our top line and bottom line."

Though the need for pest control services is high in a country like Bangladesh, Godrej Hicare realises that affordability could be an issue. "We would be adopting different price structures depending on the development index of the country concerned. For a country such as Bangladesh, which may have the highest need, affordability may be an issue unlike the countries in the United Arab Emirates," said Mr Hajela, who is still in the process of deciding which countries to foray into.

The company is presently doing research to determine the business potential in overseas markets. Factors such as affordability, socio-economic classification, environment, health and hygiene habits are being taken into account while deciding the foray in each of these countries.

To double its turnover next fiscal, the Rs 26-crore pest management company intends graduating from the business of pest management. Godrej HiCare plans to expand its operations to janitorial, housekeeping and concierge services. Having spun of as a separate company in 2004 from the insect repellent company, Godrej Sara Lee, Godrej Hicare intends using Hicare as the umbrella brand as it ventures into the new services.

Mr Hajela added, "Since we are already in pest management, we are looking at how to apply our skills in another service. There are synergies in concierge and housekeeping services, since they are also in the area of hygiene and cleanliness." As Godrej Hicare already services clients such as hotels, clubs, high net worth building societies, janitorial and concierge services are seen as an extension of pest management.

Godrej Hicare has three branded services needed for pest control: Intelligel for treating cockroaches; Rodex for rodent management and Termin8 for treating termites. The Rs 200-crore pest control market is fairly nascent in India. Apart from Hicare, PCI (Pest Control of India) is another player in the organised market.

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